One nice thing about The Favourite is that it is showing at the snooty theater in the snooty shopping mall. Plaza Frontenac is anchored by the Saint Louis Saks Fifth Avenue on one end and the Neiman Marcus in the other, and between them you can find the movie theater. The theater has the resources to whittle their offerings down to just the four best movies, unlike Gary's favorite theater: the Saint Charles Industrial Warehouse O' Cinemas 18.
I haven't been to the Plaza Frontenac theater with Gary since we saw Schindler's List over twenty years ago. I remember that showing, distinctly, because it's the only time I have been to a movie that got a standing ovation at the end.
Now that Gary's brand loyalty has me stuck seeing only movies that show at the Cinema Warehouse, I miss the sense of community you get seeing a movie in a smaller theater. When we go to the big theater we are often the only ones there, since all the tickets have been bought up on Fandango by people who don't show. Even if you are in a full showing, the acoustics are such that you can't hear any reaction from the other patrons. Unless everyone in the place lets out a belly laugh at the same joke, you forget they're there.
I couldn't forget the other patrons were there at the fancy little cinema because as soon as I sat down I could hear them. They sounded like locusts, chewing acres of popcorn. Then, I heard them laugh at the mildly comical pre-movie ads that the Big Box Movie Chain customers ignore.
After the ads, the sleepy ticket-taker stood in front of the screen and welcomed us to the movie, asked us to silence our phones, and told us where the bathrooms are. Yes. A human being spoke to us. Compared to the impersonal Corporate Movie Complex with the Fandango ticket-dispensing machine, it was like a Greek Chorus came out and sang a little "Enjoy The Movie" prologue song.
And of course, you could hear everyone's reactions during the movie. There is one potentially alarming scene involving a bunny (THE BUNNY IS FINE ALERT THE BUNNY IS FINE) and I really felt like our audience was going to rise up and storm the screen. There were gasps, followed by shrieks of horror, then THE BUNNY IS FINE. (As Anne said after, no bunnies or ducks were harmed in the making of this movie.)
I almost wish Gary wasn't so loyal. We would be able to see more movies at the fancy movie theater, at the the fancy mall, where we are all humans.